Cost-Benefit Analysis of the High-Speed Train in Spain
Posted: 25 May 2005
The high-speed train is a technological break-through in passenger transport which has allowed to increase railways share in modal split in medium range distances, competing with road and air transport. The first high-speed link in Spain was launched in April 1992, with high success according to occupancy rates and public opinion of its quality, safety and impact on regional development. The Madrid-Sevilla corridor includes several routes (commuting, long-distance and services provided using high-speed infrastructure but with Talgo technology). In this paper, an ex post cost-benefit analysis is carried out from demand and cost data available and under several assumptions about the life span of the project, growth hypothesis, time and accident values, and with a social discount rate of 6% in real terms. Economic evaluation of the project shows that the Spanish high-speed train project should have not been carried out in 1987 in that particular corridor.
Keywords: railways, high speed train, infrastructure, transport, cost-benefit analysis
JEL Classification: H43, H54, R41, R58
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